Investor Peter Lynch, vice chairman of Fidelity Management and Research Company, donated $20 million worth of art from his private collection to Boston College, where he is a trustee associate. The 27 paintings and three drawings will be displayed at the College’s McMullen Museum of Art as the Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch Collection.
“When we got married, Carolyn and I did not have money to purchase art, so the fine art collection came later,” said Lynch in a statement. “We cherished having this art in our homes, but it is now time to give it away so that it can be studied and enjoyed by others.”
Among the highlights of the gift are Winslow Homer’s painting Grace Hoops (1872), Mary Cassatt’s watercolor Mother and Child (n.d.), John Singer Sargent’s painting Olive Trees, Corfu (1909), and an undated drawing by Pablo Picasso, titled Head. Pieces by Jack Butler Yeats, Diego Rivera, William Bradford, Martin Johnson Heade, and others are also included in the collection.
In addition to the donations from his private collection, Lynch also gave the College’s McMullen Museum of Art a $5 million grant to support the curation and exhibition of these works. Between the donated collection and the grant, Lynch’s gift is the largest one the museum has ever received.
Nancy Netzer, director of the McMullen Museum, said in a statement, “This is a transformational gift for the McMullen Museum, allowing expansion of our role as a vital educational resource offered free of charge not only to the Boston College community but also to all students and the public, wherever they may be.”
Lynch has a long history with Boston College. His father taught mathematics and physics there, and Lynch, his wife, and his daughter received degrees from the college.
“I know that the collection was sought after by other museums, but I wanted it to go to my alma mater, which dramatically improved my life,” Lynch said. “I am an extremely lucky person who has been so blessed in life. Giving this collection to Boston College is a small way for me to give back.”